DNR says no to request for EAW on Niagara

On Tuesday, Feb. 28, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MnDNR) announced no additional environmental study is needed for a proposed plant from Niagara Bottling in Elko New Market.

Tuesday, Feb. 28, the city received a received notice from the MnDNR in the form of a Record of Decision / Findings of Fact, that the MnDNR has determined that an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) will not be prepared for the proposed Niagara Water Bottling Project in Elko New Market, as requested by a petition submitted to the Environmental Quality Board (EQB).

The EQB received in early-December 2022 a citizen petition requesting an EAW for the proposed water bottling project. The petition alleged that Niagara Bottling’s proposed water usage could:
cause groundwater levels to decline, leading to a reduction in the availability of water for other uses;
could potentially concentrate existing groundwater contamination and pollutants which would make water unsafe for drinking or other uses; and
the production and transportation of bottled water would generate greenhouse gas emissions, causing global warming.
Due to the petition land use applications, along with business subsidy applications for the project were placed on hold pending the decision by the MnDNR.

With the MnDNR’s decision, the city of Elko New Market will proceed with consideration of Niagara’s land use applications, pursuant to Minnesota statutes and rules. The city will also proceed with consideration of the business subsidy applications. Date(s) for the consideration of applications has not yet been determined.

For more see an upcoming print edition of The New Prague Times.

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